Koji Asano

A Secret Path of Rain

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Released only a month after the naked feedback opus Momentum, A Secret Path of Rain sees Koji Asano exploring the world of noise. The two lengthy untitled selections were obtained through computer synthesis -- that's all that is known for sure. And if it weren't for the key role silence plays throughout the album, one could easily believe it to be one of Merzbow's works. Most of the music consists of roaring, harsh noise. It sits in a jar, ready to jump out and come screaming at your face the moment Asano lifts the lid. He, in turn, knows it and toys with listeners and the beast -- and at times it's unclear who is the most unnerved by the exercise. Silence, roar, silence, roar, and sometimes a faint sound, or more like an absence of sound with the microphones all open -- empty air, plus what sounds like a dot-matrix printer working in the background. Asano sculpts the sonic material into unrecognizable shapes -- spiky, rough sculptures with black holes in them. Silence builds tension, which in turn creates expectation. He would push this idea to its limit in Spirit of the Wardrobe. A Secret Path of Rain is less subtle but just as intriguing.